The top bloggers who are trumping traditional media
The 21st Century has been all about blogging. With YouTubers and bloggers racking up millions of fans… and with some filling their bank accounts, it’s become a serious trend to get yourself out there and online.
Many young, talented writers spill all about their lives, so you have to wonder why they decided against the traditional route into the mainstream media. We talked to some blogger wannabes making their own way in the digital world.
Sophie Eggleton is a 32 year old blogger and ‘vlogger’ extraordinaire. She studied fine art at university, then went on to work at various fashion magazines before starting her blog, which she called, “a diary of sorts”.
“I was working as a journalist, but I started to see a shift in the industry towards blogging in a way we hadn’t seen before,” said Eggleton, “I got the feeling that if I didn’t adapt or try and keep up, there would be less opportunities for me”.
Eggleton began to blog full time a few years ago, to combat this change: “I know of many magazines, some of which are no longer around, who were advised to create more digital content and adapt to the way people consume news and media, but they refused … they didn’t want to let go of what they knew”.
Despite the many opportunities she’s received through her blog, she acknowledges there’s a downside to the online world: “Iit can be desperately sad to see people who have worked so hard to hone their craft not getting the opportunities to write that they once did, because the emphasis is now on followers or how popular your personal brand is”.
According to Vuelio, Dane Cobain runs the 5th most popular literature blog in the UK, and with over 12,000 followers to his name, it’s hard to deny that he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to blogging. He stumbled into it when he was working in social media marketing: “As part of that, I was required to spend a lot of time working with bloggers, so I thought that it would make sense to launch my own!”
He loves blogging so much because, “It’s therapeutic, and it’s easy to get your words out in front of your readers”, unlike traditional journalism: “It’s harder to get that kind of work and you also have less control as you’re usually commissioned by an editor, rather than running the whole thing yourself.”
When discussing the future, he seems hopeful, “It’s still relatively early days, we’ve only really seen the tip of the iceberg” said Cobain, “I suspect print and online will be much more integrated, with technology like augmented reality helping to bring the written word alive for readers.”
Humaira Iqbal, like many young students, was drawn to the bright lights of London to study English Literature at university. “The truth is that I want to do everything,” said Iqbal, “I absolutely love learning & trying different things, and wouldn’t really enjoy having to do the same thing day in, day out”. So, her blog 1 Week Mary, was born. She commented that, “I had the idea of doing different things every other week & writing about them. This was perfect for me, as I’d be able to do so many different things and I’d also be writing, so it was literally ideal”.
Unlike many other bloggers, who are slightly older than 20, Iqbal has been brought up in the age of social media and instant downloads. She admits, “social media is taking over the world” but sees it as having a positive impact: “young people growing up in today’s society need to be shown the truth and that is something that the traditional media 100% is failing to do.”
One day, she dreams of having her work printed in a newspaper and she gushes that she’d “keep that paper forever and ever.”
“It gives everyone a platform and a voice. I feel like this is one of the reasons why it has become so popular. Instead of listening to what the news media say and just accepting it, blogging gives everyone a chance to get their message across and I love that”.
Sophie Edwards is a beauty and lifestyle blogger, who passionately promotes mental health awareness whilst working with an incredible range of brands, from The Body Shop to Microsoft. Reflecting on this, she said “not many other 19 year old students can say that!”
She is savvy with her approach to blogging, using it to build up valuable experience, that’s helping her as she studies advertising and Marketing at degree level. “Blogging is constantly growing and becoming known to the traditional media consumers and journalists,” said Edwards, “Bloggers can create so much of an impact and they’re much more approachable than traditional companies”.
Like Cobain, Edwards also believes that both mainstream and online media can work harmoniously side by side: “I think they can keep up by incorporating and collaborating with online media to ensure they gain a wide audience, and are tailoring their services to suit the rapidly growing market”.
Jemma Morgan, aka Dorkface, is one the big stars of our list. On Twitter alone, she has almost 20,000 followers. Combine that with the newsletter she created, #TheGirlGang, around 35,000 people are listening to what she has to say. Dropping out of university before completing her degree, Morgan has been freelancing ever since and has managed to amass a huge following.
“People love to be heard, and being able to create something for yourself from the comfort of your own home is amazing”, she explained, “and now especially with the rise in people becoming rich and famous from this; its popularity will only increase”.
Morgan feels that online media has created stiff competition for print-based media. When we asked if she thought blogging could overtake the newspaper and magazine industry, she said: “I absolutely do. That’s not to say I don’t think there’s any value left in print media. But it will demand a lot of creativity, forcing print media to be cutting edge.”